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Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Shine on you crazy diamond.
Pink Floyd

____________________________________________________________

Love is truly a verb
headed to dk Gallery, Marietta, GA
12th Annual Nude and Figure Show
Opens – Friday, February 7, 2020 at 5 PM – 9 PM

4 x 6 in. on 8 x 10 in. paper
Love holds you into the forever
16 x 20 in. on paper
4 x 6 in. on 8 x 10 in. paper
Sun at water’s edge
28 x 20 in. on paper
4 x 6 in. on 8 x 10 in. paper
The Bathers
28 x 20 in. on paper

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She Walks, Dreaming in Love

These drawings, such an important part of dreaming forward.
Series, She Walks, Dreaming in Love

Often, when I dream, I am walking; dancing in the meadows in the fields, with sunflowers and lilies, most often. Recently, when I dream, I have full use of my hands and am a carpenter.

These dreams are so vivid, I sometimes wake up disoriented as my actual reality of limited use of my arms and hands, and no use of my legs abruptly makes itself aware.

Walking dreams, and dancing, began since i first became severely ill in 2015, and was initialized paralyzed with this disease. I learned this is very normal within paralysis community.

At first, I would cry, be confused, frustrated. Deep sighs of despair as I lie there in bed. I found it backwards. Dreaming was real, and waking was the nightmare.

To be honest, it was the measure of the stress and unknown at the time. Our world, mine and my family’s world was shaken. I was alive, and making progress in physical and occupational therapy. I was hopeful, and I needed cheerleaders to help me in this.

There were so many unknowns. How do you digest hearing “if your alive in 5 years, most likely will be blind and wheelchair bound.” then move into “well, we don’t know, and we don’t have the ability to help you.”

Feeling very alone in moments like these:

2016, Idaho. I am struggling in Occupational therapy. My therapist does a few evaluation tests on my arms/hands and finds my strength and grip strength has decreased.

She sends her recommendations to my primary care physician, who then sends it on to the neurologist. I am now sitting in the neurologists office with my sister in law at my side.

He says “The rehabilitation hospital does that.”

I say, apparently not because my occupational therapist sent it to my primary who sent it to you because she said you do it.”

“No, they do it.”

The OT’s recommendations and concerns went into what I call the Bermuda triangle of passing the buck into never-land of no action.

Now, look at this:

2017, North Carolina. I have been in physical therapy for a little while, mainly learning wheelchair skills, and learning to use the electronic stimulation device on the various muscle groups to help them fire and in turn help with muscle tone etc. Then things turned from these skills to re-evaluations, and then trunk control, and then the day came when my PT compassionately said that he ethically could not continue because PT was doing more harm than good. My body was clearly struggling and he was calling my doctor.

He scheduled me for two more visits; one to finish the final muscle groups with the EMS machine, and the second to teach my family how to help assist me in transferring from place to place.

That first last appointment came. My husband was with me, and I was not well. My PT just immediately taught my husband full assist transferring and even practiced it with our car. and told my husband, I am immediately calling her doctors.

Yes, and that is how 2017 began as I know it today. Only this time, doctors, nurses, home health, speech therapist, PT, OT, medical social worker; they all came on board,

and no one shrugged their shoulders and left us alone.

My family and I were hugged, were cared for, were taught, were provided for. We were provided with the physical, mental, and emotional tools to grieve, to be, to learn, to practice, and to become.

Now, I am a fighter, I am a glass-full kind of girl. Even in Idaho I found those moments. My PT’s and OT’s were amazing. I love them today, and hope I get to talk to them again. It is with that help, that love.

If you want to hear about one of those moments you can listen here:
https://soundcloud.com/radioboise/stray-theatre-december-24-2017-story-story-nights-dazed-and-confused-rocked-and-rolling-stories

So, what does it mean when I say, She Walks, dreaming in love?

Today, I enjoy those walking dreams. They are magical. I wake up in a smile and not tears. My limitations are everything and nothing simultaneously.

It is not easy. Don’t get me wrong – There is nothing about this that is easy. For my family, and for myself.

Life does continue. It does ease as we move through and adapt. Little by little equipment and routine happen.

We get to practice patience, and delayed gratification.

We get to greet the sun, and say hello to the moon. We get to walkabout in love, no matter what it looks like. My wheelchair walks for me, my computer talks for me. How cool is that.

and I am never out of reality, I am always dancing in the fields with the sunflowers and lilies; with dandelions wisping through my hair, caressing my cheeks.

These are what these drawings are. They are the dance of love, the dance of choice, and power. They are the dance of grief, the dance of the unknown.

They are my dreams. They are the simultaneous illness and life of my body.

They are the moments of never being alone.

They are the dance of dignity; created with all the limitations of this body. braces and Velcro, pillows and positioning belts, whatever it takes to dance.

She Walks, Dreaming in Love VI, 30 x 22 inch, paper, ink, graphite on paper, 2018
She Walks, Dreaming in Love II, 30 x 22 inch, paper, ink, graphite on paper, 2018
She Walks, Dreaming in Love I, 30 x 22 inch, paper, ink, graphite on paper, 2018

available through dk Gallery

Paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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Stand where you are

for you have much richness
deep in the you; you are
;
even if it means lying down.

in rest there is life;
cool comfort,
joy in our stillness-es.

in our suffering
in our loss-es,
we reach into our each.

in our worn-ess,
in our despondency-s,
we are rich in offering
.

in our arms,
allowing the intimacy
of others into our lives;

we are rich.
you; are rich
in the all of y/ou/r illness-es,

we reach into the each;
and have much to offer;
humanity’s necessity;

stand where you are
even in lying down.

CKS

Definitely winding down; I am less than two weeks away from my next Rituxan Infusion. This time, I am looking forward to it. I wish it were yesterday.

This past six months has been the best six months in two years. Overall, I might be fatigued and worn down, but I am still able to get up in my chair, still able to do things that I otherwise would not be able to do for myself before.

I also am present. I am not trying to do more, not trying to push through, not trying to be better than I am. I am right where I am and that is where I shall remain for today.

I am using a new eye gaze set up, and that makes all the difference in my life. You have no idea how much energy conservation it provides me.

Drawing more by holding the pen in my mouth. lol, that is somethin’; try it sometime. It is fun, and a lot harder than it looks. Actually, I am not very good at it. My face muscles have a hard time keeping it in my mouth. But, it gives my arms a bit of rest. And, its fun, and makes me giggle.

My pen held in place by Velcro, it can’t fall out of my hand, so, a floppier wrist is not much of a bother, its my triceps, my major movement that gets slowed, heavy, and hard.

And, so I stand where I am, lying down, binge watching much tvany suggestions? – resting in the melody of this life, and enjoying it. At this point I would normally be frustrated and developing more depression and sadness.

And I am not. I am not depressed. I am not sad.

I am joyful. I am happy. I am excited about things to come. Things that are happening; new and continuing. I am happy in feeling more present in the lives of my loved ones.

Where are you standing today? What does your present look like? Mine looks like this, and I imagine it is wrapped in a lovely pink bow!

You are enough, and have so much to give to a world that needs the you, you are. My hope is to be a part of changing the conversation around being sick, and how we treat people who are ill, suffering, and dying. How we treat people.

Each time we act with pity, we take away a person’s power. Each time we dismiss someone because of their suffering-s, we take away their power.

Each time we act in amazement at an accomplishment; despite of; we take power. Each time we discount illness and suffering because of amazement in accomplishment; We set apart rather than bring together.

Too often we treat, and act as though a person must overcome, defy, get well, in order to have worth. We take power away.

All these are wonderful things. overcoming, defying, all this is not in and of itself a problem. But why isn’t living with and alongside of provided for, cared for and caressed?

In the heart of it, that is what happens in order to get to remission of an illness, the easement of a grief. and then there is living when remission and easement is not possible.

I am not not trying to live, I am not trying to be well. I am Connie, living with a rare disease, a future unknown, but its unknown for everyone, because we are not there yet.

I love this life, standing where I am.

please share today, and invite others.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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Art ~ Poetry ~ Life
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When She Dreams

detail, love is the freedom to roam, digital drawing, 16 x 20 in.

When she dreams,
she is dancing
in the forest of her home.

CKS

Love is the Freedom to Roam, detail, digital drawing, 16 x 20 in. on paper

__________________________________________________

Dancing I am; with all parts of my body. This happens to be my first post I created completely with my eyes. Thanks to Team Gleason for the long-term loan of a Tobii 4C eye tracker and bracket for my Surface Pro. More to come on this. For now, enough to say, OMG I love it! #nowhiteflags

Georgia peeps, new work is coming to dk Gallery in February for their annual Nude and Figure Show; sneak peek in Love is the Freedom. . .

Idaho peeps, new work is going to The Gallery at Finer Frames with Meg Glasgow in Eagle Idaho in time for Art with a Heart in February, benefiting Meals on Wheels.

To all my peeps living all over the world, don’t worry, I have you covered. I have created a tab – Purchase – This contains all the places work is/will be available; click on each link for a portfolio of the work in each place; enjoy, and of course contact info if you find a piece you can’t live without; you need not be local to purchase. Check it out, and let me know what you think of this new tab.

New this year, at the bottom of every post you will notice a button called – Tip Jar – This is a PayPal.me link where you can show your support with a li’l some’n in the tip jar. Like a particular poem? a post spoke to you? enjoying the blog in general? Put a little something in the Tip Jar. Thanks!

I hope you stay with me here, and I invite, ask, and hope you will read, enjoy, like posts, comment, share, and invite others. This is what Crooked Little Flower is here for. And I need your help to reach out and grow.

Happy New Year! Let’s do this!

paint much love,always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

Don’t miss a thing!
Art – Poetry – Life
in your inbox

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Looking forward into 2020; Looking back on a life living

I almost titled this “two years in” as a follow up and continuing from “One Year On“. What the title of this post will be at time of hitting publish, I don’t know. Hope you like it just the same.

I am proud that despite needing some time off, overall, I have blogged for you more regularly. I am happy to share, and even more happy you enjoy; and that these posts provide a moment of joy, support, beauty; whatever you need of it, I am glad we are hear together.

I live with a rare disease. I am proud the disease is stabilizing, and my family and I have settled into a pretty darn good place of adapting. This means life for everyone improves.

I am proud to have new friends from Microsoft. I had a blast with a crew coming out twice to my studio. and if you have seen what shown at their launch, here it is and know that there is another video to come in which my husband is writing the music for.

Beyond my wildest dreams never would I have thought I, Connie, lover of all things dirt, earth, and graphite, would evolve into a full-time digital artist. Loving the freedom, discovery; pushing the boundaries of digital art; and I am just getting started.

I am proud of my relationship with dk Gallery. A beautiful group of artists, and Donna and her team truly seek the best for their represented artists.

I am proud of my growing relationship with my tribe at PoetsArtists. Didi Menendez is a dynamic force, and also truly represents and seeks the best for this talented bunch of artists and poets. I look forward to 2020 and beyond.

I am proud to breathe, to smile, and my walkabout down Rebels Creek Road saying hello to my neighbors. How fun it is to feel the wind and the sun; to hear the creek and the birds, to watch the deer before me, and the random creatures and plant life all around me.

I am proud to ask for help; add to the arsenal of adaptive equipment and techniques to help life in its living. I am proud to take time for myself, and meet my needs, so life keeps living.

I am proud to be in awe of the sunrise, and equally in awe of the tears of grief, frustration, and fear. I am proud of the good days as equally of the bad days. Because I get to have days. How cool is that. They are my days that I get to love my family and my friends; new and old. Nothing could be more beautiful.

I am proud I live with this disease. Not overcoming, running away, defy odds or funny colored glasses.

Well, maybe I do live with rosy glasses, but I believe they are rosy because I just live. I don’t make them rosy. I don’t place false hope or place more worth in how I live. I believe they are rosy because its truth, and nothing else. I practice life. and in that, smiles abound through the all of it.

I am proud to finally be able to describe myself as tenacious, happy, motivated, and joyous without qualifiers like vanity and narcissism. I am equally proud to describe myself as anxious, fearful, doubtful, and confused without qualifiers like less-than and broken.

I am not broken. I am Connie Karleta Sales, passionate about art and life and opportunity to share.

And that, my friends, is the focus of 2020. Are you ready? Hold on tight, its bound to be a fun-wild-ride!

paint much love, always,
Connie
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

*Feature Image: Quiet of a Winter Lent II,
digital drawing, paper on wood panel, 4″ x 4″ x 7/8″,
available through dk Gallery

Don’t miss a thing! Join us!

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Perseverance Meets Sustenance

Perseverance Meets Sustenance, digital drawing, CKS

When Perseverance
met Sustenance
embers ignited

into soul fire.

Winter
caressed her shadows;
and peace settled itself
within her heart-walls.

CKS

from series Reflections of Sentient

a growing family tree
drawings of warmth and growth
digital drawing

Winter is here, and for many holidays have arrived. I hope you remember how beautiful you all are.

Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday. A day devoted to supporting your favorite charities. There are also non-official places and people to support as well. Individual people doing awesome things. One such person to consider is:

A Cornered Gurl – Founded/Owned by Tre L. Loadholt, an absolute champion of young writers and a talented writer in her own right. Donations through her PayPal on A Cornered Gurl go to pay an honorarium to writers. Check it out, read, share, subscribe, and consider donating here

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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Skin of her Skin

Skin of my Skin, ink on paper, 17" x 17" on 20 " x 20" paper, CKS

Reaches into the desires
of her heart and inhales;
builds into action.

She, becoming;
watching her own suffering
being in the gift of an animated life.
CKS

So what’s up?! Fall arrived here in the Blue Ridge, and I am happy to be out. One day, I spent almost my entire time out and in my chair on walkabout up and down Rebel’s Creek, happy to see almost every neighbor I know; too beautiful to stay inside my studio.

As you know, it has been a difficult first part of the year. Rituxan treatment was delayed, and I ended up in an attack, and luckily not like 2018, and, grrrrr; and life continued and treatment worked its way back into my life. My body stabilized once again, and the task of allowing my body to rest, renew, make the gains possible, and adapt where needed. Emotionally and mentally trust myself and care for my person-hood. My very own ‘stay-retreat’; my soul indulging in the skin of her skin; tailoring to its own needs; inhaling into an exhale of ‘okay’.

Then, catch up began. I am still catching up on certain responsibilities, and I am being gentle with myself, and simultaneously know this can and does disappoint, frustrate, and does not meet the needs of others.

I speak to this because sometimes, we as people can beat on ourselves, feel overly guilty to the point of giving up on ourselves; reinforcing some belief we are awful humans.

Truth is can we accept our own fallibility that we will make mistakes. Can we accept ourselves knowing we will disappoint and not meet the expectations we help set up? Take responsibility without denigrating ourselves? What does that look like?

A couple of cool things happened along this way. A team from Microsoft visited my studio, and made a video, and this video ended up being apart of their live event at the beginning of October (video coming soon).

What!!!! Insanely fun. Sweetest, coolest team of people; making it easy for someone not accustomed to be the one in front of the camera in this way. My heart sang sharing how these Surface tools I use today helping make my work possible.

Second, I was given the opportunity to attend a Narrative Medicine Symposium in Asheville. Insanely beautiful and profound. I speak often about my college experience coming into the art department, and feeling that deep sense of being home. This symposium was once again, this gentle yes-sense of coming home.

I belonged. My heart, art, poetry belonged and I knew it within my marrow and pulse of my heart. excitement; comfort. I was exactly where I wanted to be, and I look forward to what continues, what is next.

With that, enjoy Reflections of Sentient, a series I am currently within and growing with. I finished a drawing for a dear friend; based on a poem I wrote for her for Christmas a few years ago. This drawing, she was pregnant, and wanted my help.

Thus, here we are, each drawing born of each other, and growing as a family grows within our human experience.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

*feature image – work in progress, detail of triptych based on quote by Hafiz

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Reflections of Sentient

Reflections of Sentient Connie Karleta Sales

Friendship,
skins peeling in equity;
silken curves that crash down
the edge of my ears,
like waves
feel into you,
into each.

words drip.
you are peace.

Friendship,
writing into my spring;
fall cooing winter’s despair,
bended-tree whispers,
I listen, as
soundness reasons
with her own insanity.

blood-bitters soak.
you are quiet.

Friendship,
music calling as a dove
rippling within sincerity
encircling my smile;
drenched,
seen into water’s edge
satire satisfactions
appease rejoices,
the you within each we.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower


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#beyondourcontrol

Dear Rainmaker,
there are discerning days.
there are days of unknown melancholy.
and then, there are days;
days in which that clutching darkness
dances around my wandering mind, and
I question tomorrow’s dawn.

then I catch a brief smirk upon my lips
when I remember the lilies of the field.

am I sitting with flowers?
am I sitting with flowers, yet?

Fall into the coolness of
the meadow my child.
there is no grief and no madness,
however great, that darkness can consume.

My strength and My peace
shall surround you.
My light shall fill you.

Dear Heart, I love you.
lean on me, through the strength
of those that surround you.
you are loved, my beloved
CKS


We can feel helpless. We can feel hopeless. We grieve in anger, frustration, and disappointment. We pause, we breathe, we hang on until hope and love reside next to us.

I share today a poem I wrote awhile ago, and it is within a greater story and resides in Rainmaker and Flower; pray on dirty knees, my first poetry book published this last May.

I share it because I return to this poem when I am in that well of darkness, and feel quite sad and overwhelmed. When my world is spinning and nothing gets accomplished.

I have had deadlines I have not met. Responsibilities I have not lived up too, and I hope for forgiveness and more patience. When my emotions and mental capacity has weighted me down until I only hear the echo of “I am a loser. good for nothing.” and even less gets accomplished, and I hear less and less, and see less and less; and I want nothing more than to hide.

I become paralyzed in fear. everything, even my art becomes suspect, and I am paralyzed; deciding maybe I should start over; abandoned all together.

Does your world ever appear in bleak darkness? This poem is for you and for me. Let us read it together, and know you are not alone. I am not alone. And there is no darkness that light cannot overcome, that fear cannot be comforted; that grief cannot feel kindness, that love cannot find.

It is okay not to be okay. My dear friends, I ask more patience with me. I share my heart because this is what I do. I am with you. I am here in your disappointment, in your anger, frustration, grief.

I will rise again. I have no idea this path I, not alone, am on. The path you, not alone, are on.

We are together, praying as we are; our dirty knees resting in the fields of the lilies

paint much love, always.
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower